Trowbridge firm to lose up to 20 jobs in centre move

Wiltshire Times: Managing director Marcus Holbrow Managing director Marcus Holbrow

Up to 20 jobs will be lost when HJ Knee moves out of town.

Managing director Marcus Holbrow said some staff would be let go when it moves to the Spitfire Retail Park.

He said: “There will be shrinkages of staff and we will be streamlining our operation. It’s a smaller site, so we won’t be able to stock what we stock in the town centre stores; the departments we shall concentrate on are our home, furniture and electrical.”

The firm’s two town centre stores employ both full and part-time staff, with many employees serving with the company for many years.

Finance director Peter Knee said: “We currently employ about 50 people across the two shops in Trowbridge that will be moving to Spitfire. There will be some redundancies, we can’t say for certain how many at this point, but it should be less than 20.

“The important thing is to reassure people we will be carrying on at the Spitfire park, and we have got the town’s best interests at heart.”

HJ Knee employees have been left shocked by the announcement. One member of staff said:“We are gutted, I’m told we are to have one-to-one meetings with management and then things for the future might become a little clearer.”

The other employee added: “It came as a complete shock, we are worried sick about losing our jobs.”

Property and business director Jonathan Knee said: “We have entered a period of meeting with all of the staff, giving them a good understanding of the number of staff that are required at the new business.

“It is less than the number we employ today, but the extent of that will depend on how many existing staff will want to work for us.

“We will be open on Sundays, the same hours as the retail park, so we will have to look at overall staffing levels before making any final decisions.”

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